Plot: Henry (Michael St. Gerard) is an unstable man who keeps his mind distracted by endless hours of television, which keeps him from pursuing other, potentially darker pursuits that interest him. But his favorite method of escape, a television show called The Robertson Family, has just been canceled. This not only removes a crucial distraction from his mental illness, but pushes him into a manic episode and when he learns his social worker is taking a leave, he is sent to the brink. He decides that rather than go on in life, he will take his own life and prepares to jump off the roof. But just before he leaps, he meets a strange man named Sam Bones (John P. Ryan), who shares his sense of loss over canceled television programs and encourages him not to jump, instead he should pursue some new interests. As he walks a dark path and basks in the attention it brings him, what will become of Henry?
Entertainment Value: This is a wild one, with few threads of sanity or normalcy and an unforgettable ride through a fractured mind. The movie conjures up an atmosphere that always feels unstable and unpredictable, with some elements that could be seen as random or outlandish, or just plain bizarre. I appreciated how odd and unsettling Star Time was at times, as it never even comes close to a traditional or predictable experience and that is a rare find. As unusual as the movie can be, to me things never felt weird for the sake of weird, but more like a disjointed, disruptive artistic approach. The attention to detail in all of the strange turns and visual elements, combined with the script and odd performances, it creates a unique vision, one that feels more like off the beaten path art than shock cinema. The movie spends most of the duration on the relationship between Henry and Sam, which is an eerie one and never fails to keep you reeled in, even when Sam makes things quite uncomfortable. His emotionless presence is such a contrast with Henry’s barely contained emotional state, so the dynamic between them is a fun one and leads to some wild moments. I had a a great time with Star Time and for fans of art driven, but still batshit crazy cult cinema, it is highly recommended.
This one has some sleaze included, from topless scenes to an intimate tour of a woman’s body, shown on numerous screens from multiple angles. This includes some rather vivid full frontal at times, but it is brief and not zoomed in, so it isn’t overly graphic, just very revealing at times. There’s some minor bloodshed, but it is never graphic and we only see the result of the violence, not the violence itself. The narrative follows Henry as a killer, but it is more focused on style and atmosphere than violence, which more than compensates, I think. The dialogue has some bright spots, especially Sam’s sometimes humorous, always creepy discussions, as well as some attempts at skewering the media through pretentious, but often effective barbs. So there’s some good dialogue in here, although the visuals are far more memorable. In terms of craziness, the entire movie is wall to wall mania, but I have to draw attention to my personal favorite moment, in which Sam teaches Henry to whistle in an awkward and cringe inducing sequence. Just pure, uncomfortable bliss. Star Time is seriously one bizarre scene after another, a true vision of unique, original cinema.
Overall Insanity: 10/10
The Disc: The movie has been given a new 1.85:1 widescreen transfer thanks to 2k scan of the original camera negative, which yields impressive results. This looks super clean and shows little signs of the tolls of time, with high detail and overall sharpness. A 2.0 soundtrack is included and sounds good, with clear and clean dialogue, music, and effects. The extras here include a director’s commentary track, a half hour interview with the film’s cinematographer, short film The Great Performance, and the movie’s theatrical trailer.